There was a lot of talk last spring about Justin Trudeau calling a snap election to take advantage of the anti-Trump feeling that many Canadians hold for the narcissistic American leader.
Summer came and went and the rumour faded — until this week.
With NAFTA negotiations apparently at an impasse and the threat of auto sector tariffs from the White House, many Ottawa pundits are suggesting that the Liberals may yet call an election for this fall, one year ahead of the scheduled vote.
The thinking is that the prime minister will tell Canadians that he needs a strong mandate from voters in order to go toe to toe with Trump on what is becoming a trade crisis.
While all-party support for Trudeau’s tough stand against Trump is waning, the Conservatives would have to be guarded in their criticism on the NAFTA file, for fear of being construed as taking the side of the erratic American president on the issue.
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From a political perspective, the fact that Andrew Scheer hasn’t really connected with voters in the way the Conservatives had hoped, and internal bickering in the NDP caucus might make the idea of an early election that much more alluring for the government.
It’s always a gamble when a government pulls the plug on Parliament, but given the relentless anti-Canadian bombast from Trump, the Trudeau Liberals may be willing to take that gamble.
Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML